September 15, 2001 Reunion Music 21 Plaza

 
 
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Ailen Jacela Guevarra

Ailen and Rossano Sandel





 

Upon arriving at the place at around 7:00 p.m., Ged asked her driver to accompany Mary Ann Santos and Jean to get her parked car at SM and I decided to go along with them leaving Ross & Joel behind with the others. I gave instruction to Ged to ask for a room suitable for us all and fire-away their food and drink orders immediately, whatever food package they would fancy. We reached SM in a hurry and courteously told the driver that he could then proceed to Music 21 Plaza as we went up the stairs of the main parking building to get Mary Ann's car. On our way back to the KTV bar while inside Mary Ann's car, I took advantage of the chance in conversing with Mary Ann and specifically, Jean Anne about a host of things ranging from the frivolous such as textmates, to the serious which again went back confusingly to - textmates! (aren't you a bit dazed too?, ha he ha!) But fearing "reprisal" from Jean Anne, I wouldn't dare reveal the things we talked about during the trip back to Music 21 as some stories are meant to be harbored as "secrets," (right, Jean?). Don't worry, it was nothing "important" nor worth mentioning at all-it's just about Jean's (current) lovelife!!! Oops, change channels, mute the volume and then let go of the remote. So, pushing the fast-forward button, we now arrived at Music 21 and asked direction from an usher for Room 19 located at the second floor which was texted to me by Ged beforehand. Once entering the room, the kind of glitzy lighting that welcomed us would excitedly mystify most anyone as the walls plastered with neon effects seem to transport us into galactic space, floating amidst the brilliant stars and glittering heavenly bodies hushed down into a fanciful setting. Coupled with the stimulating voice of Louie Magsakay beckoning us to step into the world of the unknown, analogous to "calling occupants on interplanetary, most extraordinary flight" (song of the late Karen Carpenter, hehehe).

They favored the Japanese food package consisting of an assortment of sushi, sashimi, tonkatsu, tempura (shrimp & vegetable), teriyaki, sukiyaki, teppanyaki and all sorts of "yakis!" And while anxiously waiting for the refreshments and the food to come, Louie was already busy laying out the songs to be sang, frantically inputting the corresponding alphanumeric codes for each and Louie is also the one bearing the torch for the girls as far as singing is concerned. The songs ranged from ballads like "How Could I Live Without You" by Trisha McIntyre from the motion picture "Con Air", to love songs like "When You Say Nothing at All" by Ronan Keating from the movie "Notting Hill", to new wave hits of the '80s like "Buttercup" & "Just Got Lucky" from the movie "Bagets!", hehehe. OPM hits from Martin Nievera's collection like "Be My Lady," "The Promise," "Kahit Isang Saglit," "You Are My Song," to Aiza Seguerra's "Pagdating ng Panahon." We were also able to belt out some duet pieces like FreeStyle & Pops Fernandez' version of "Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang," sang by the trio of Louie, Me-Ann Galang and me. Even some Visayan love songs were included in the list like "Usahay" & "Matud Nila" which they deleted out of the lineup before I got the chance to sing it. You know why, because hindi raw matigas ang dila ko! Betcha by golly, wow, and that's the reason why I wasn't given the chance to sing it!! You could just imagine how blissful those moments were that will be etched into our hearts for a long time to come, probably even forever. As everybody was joining in the fray, forgetting about the quality (daw) of their voice, which was the reason in the first place why it took a while before we decided to come here, ha,ha,ha.

And what a great sense of timing Louie had that memorable night because at the time of Ailen Jacela's arrival, the preceding song was a cut from Madonna's old album "Like a Virgin" and her rendition was nothing short of phenomenal as even the choreography was very adroitly original and in sync as she was really singing and dancing ala-Madonna style and what's more she did it while sitting down, I think! No, actually, she just arrived at that time so she begged off as she hasn't warmed up yet, daw! But upon seeing the next song, she even stood up in front of everyone, frenetically ordered for the microphone to be given to her and hummed the first few lines of. "Dancing Queen". ABBA, and she has some talents to showcase, ha! And if that is not enough, the next song number was done by Jean and I don't know if it has something to do with her current lovelife, the title? "Till They Take My Heart Away." by Clair Marlo. You might ask, how appropriate is the title? Unfortunately for us, only Jean can answer that question with all certainty. But all I can say is that the song was being sung straight from the diaphragm, dictated and guided by the heart, say ninyo? On the other hand, I couldn't remember much about Me-Ann Santos' songs but what left a lasting impression to all of us was her interpretation of a famous Britney Spears song - "Ooops, I Did It Again!" complete with the staccato approach of the celebrated American singer. There were various other songs whose titles and singers are currently dodging my memory but I can assure you that I wouldn't miss those times for the world.

Ged Linsangan you might inquire? She sternly said in the beginning that she would rather pay for everything than to be discovered inadvertently and be put in the limelight as she is trying to lead a low-profile life. So who are we to argue to the Big Lady Boss? Ha, ha, ha! Oh and about Rossano and Joel? Well, sometimes they would hum inaudibly, mumbling some lyrics or whatever, at times they would sing laughingly with the rest of the group, particularly Joel, especially if Louie is the one singing. But they were pretty much contented in being at the background egging on whoever is singing, as if they are inside a nightclub caressing their beer mugs and enjoying the night away.

By the time the three hours have expired, we were all surprised at how fast time flew by. Exhausted yet still raring to go on, excited yet weary inside knowing that some good things have to end. But pleased and thankful for the wonderful and marvelous time we've shared, for the time spent with long-lost friends, in creating remarkable memories that will forever be unforgettable, as we rediscover how many of our friends are truly lovable. What more can I add to this "short" journal of mine? We'll just talk about it more come Grand Reunion time.

Your loving friend,

Abner